SOTA Activation 1000

Sunday 5th September 2010 should see my 1,000th activation in SOTA. The plan is to activate on as many HF bands as possible, mainly CW but some SSB on 80, 60 and 40. There will also be SSB and FM on 2m, particularly during the Backpackers contest in the afternoon.

Family and a few amateur radio friends will be joining me on summit (Gun G/SP-013) at stages through the day for picnic and such. Let’s hope for good weather!

It would be nice to work many of the regular chasers, so I will self-spot the band/mode changes through the day. Except of course, there will be no self-spotting between 1100 and 1500z while I am in the 2m Backpackers Contest.

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

As you’re at 998 activations & 248 uniques can’t you combine your 1000th into a much more memorable 1000th activation and 250 uniques?

Just asking…


Not really. Anyway, why have one celebration when you can have two? And it is 249 uniques if you don’t mind!

With remaining uniques so far away now, and wanting to spend a bit of QRV time on #1000, the possibility of a combo has long since been dismissed.


In reply to M1EYP:

Well I certainly agree with have two celebrations not one. You must have sneaked another unique in when I wasn’t looking!


In reply to M1EYP:

I’m planning on a visit to the Telford rally that day, followed by activating something probably in WB - its nearly 50 years since I last went up the Wrekin - so I will make a special effort to give you an S2S.


Brian G8ADD


All I will have sneaked in will be a late activator log entry. Now that Jimmy M3EYP has been driven around all corners of the UK to match my activator uniques, we are going to be tied in that table for a long time to come!


That would be a real pleasure to get you S2S. You can see WB-010 from both SP-013 and SP-015. Any particular band in mind? I’ll give you my mobile number via PEM so you can alert me when you are QRV. Unless it is between 1100 and 1500 of course, in which case we’ll just have to find each other hi!


In reply to M1EYP:

Great. I usually think in terms of 2 m SSB and FM, also 40 and 60 metres SSB, but as the rally will probably keep me until after midday I will have to hope that you are not in hunt and pounce mode, as you usually are by the time I hear you!


Brian G8ADD

Of course, in order to set activation 1000 up for Sunday, it was necessary to tick the box for activation 999, what with having done only 998 activations so far…

Jimmy was back at 6th form today to commence the final year of his A level studies. Marianne was out shopping ready for Liam to go back to school tomorrow, but left me with instructions to “get Liam out for some exercise”.

Her wish, my command.

Or should that be…

Her command, my compliance.

Hmmm, get Liam out for some exercise … activation 999 … surely there was some way to kill two birds with one stone? You don’t need a wild imagination to suggest that The Cloud G/SP-015 might do the trick. I haven’t got one either, so that’s exactly where we went. But not the normal way.

I parked on the A54 Congleton to Buxton road, quite near to Bosley crossroads. But, perhaps surprisingly, that is still a far way off Bosley Cloud. We walked a short distance back down the main road from the lay-by and joined the canal in the upper half of the Bosley lock flight. (There’s lots of things named after Bosley. An excellent beer, a telecommuications tower, a village, a tug-of-war team, a wood treatment works, a member of The Macc Lads and a former neighbour’s dog spring to mind).

Liam and I walked down the canal as we counted down the rest of the locks and made much faster progress than the many narrowboaters who were out on this glorious hot sunny afternoon. No rucksacks or anything, we just wore sunhats and I had a carrier bag with fruit juice and chocolate in it.

Shortly after the canal swang around to the west, we exited at bridge 57, thence following the bridleway down to Bosley Wood Treatment. From here, we walked up to the crossroads between Red Lane, Peover Lane and Tunstall Road. We used the shade provided by the trees to allow our heads some air by removing our sunhats.

At the crossroads, we climbed the stile into the National Trust land, and commenced the steep haul up the ‘nose’ of The Cloud. This is a much lower starting point then Cloudside parking area, and the steepness is soon felt in the calf muscles. Height is gained rapidly though, and we were soon on level ground, swinging round to the East of the summit before the final mini-scramble up onto the top.

Unsurprisngly, there were many people already on the hill, and others that passed over while we were there. It was such a lovely day. I had put faith into the weather by (a) not checking any forecast, and (b) walking in shirt sleeves without bringing any extra layers or waterproofs. This worked out well, as the weather and temperature did not budge at all.

The only radio gear I brought was the VX7 handheld, a notepad and a pencil, which were all in the lower outer pockets of my walking trousers. Liam and I sat at the trig point, the base of which makes rather comfortable seating, and first enjoyed a Capri Sun juice before I started calling CQ.

On 2m FM, using only handheld and rubber duck, I made 8 QSOs, several of which were pleasant extended ragchews. Views from the summit were nice in the sunny weather, but not brilliant with the haze limiting visibility to about 15 miles.

After a relaxing 45 minute stay on summit, Liam and I set off on our descent, taking the standard path down to Cloudside, and then down the road to the crossroads. For the first time, I found the point at which Red Lane becomes into Cloudside! At the crossroads, we went straight on and walked down the long road to the A54. Here, we got back onto the canal which also met the A54 at this point, and walked the towpath all the way back to Bosley Locks and the car.

I reckon it was about 10km and a decent afternoon’s walk. And always enjoyable to get a bit of quality time with Liam. Moreover, that is activation #999 out of the way, meaning that Sunday will indeed be Activation 1000. Hope to work many of you then.

73, Tom M1EYP

I hope to be out on Bredon (my local hill) on Sunday so will try for a summit to summit. I was hoping to be around for the contest, but a family birthday might get in the way, so it might be earlier. Have a good day - that is quite some milestone.


In reply to M1EYP:
I’ll be in Hill Control at Prescott. Good luck with the 1000’th Tom.

73 Graham G4FUJ

In reply to M1EYP:

I am unlikely to be on a summit on Sunday but I hope to make contact with you from somewhere Tom. Most likely will be early on 80m, although I will probably find you in the 2m contest later too, although I will not be participating myself this time.

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

Planning to spend the morning on the Gun G/SP-015 working as many bands as possible and the join Tom on the Cloud around lunch time. Hope all the chasers aren’t all Clouded out by the time we get there.

Steve GW7AAV, Helen GW7AAU, Caroline 2W0YLO, and Adam 2W0DPI

PS Adam’s first SOTA so please be gentle with him.

Just a tip Steve … I will be on Gun, not The Cloud (believe it or not) for my 1000th activation. Look forward to seeing you all.


In reply to M1EYP:

I got confused, but I alerted the right way around. Will do Cloud then join you on Gun. :0)

I am nearly ready to play how many amateur radio antennas can we get on one hill top at the same time with Tom, Jimmy, Helen, Caroline, Adam and no doubt a few others. Just charging the batteries left to finish off.

My antennas (all home brew): Linked dipole for 80/60/40/20/10 plus spare, 6m & 4m delta loops, telescoping J-pole (TJP MK1) for 2m FM, 3 element SOTA beam for 2m. Only rubber duckies for 70 & 23cms though.

My rigs: Yaesu FT857D, Yaesu FT817, 2/70 Kenwood TH-G71E x 2, 2/70 Wouxun KG-UVD1P x 2, 4m Wouxun KG-699E, 23cms Icom IC12E

My power: 2 x 7AH Slabs, 3.2AH Slab, internal batteries in handhelds and 817, and a 17 AH Slab in a power booster back in the car just in case.

Hope the weather is okay because I’m not coming down until all the power is used up ;0)

Steve GW7AAV

Tom must have submitted the most self-spots ever in a day as well as his other achievements. We have been able to enjoy his activation vicariously by just glancing at SOTAwatch.



We have had a good day doing Cloud G/SP-015 and then joining Tom on the Gun G/SP-013. Tom was looking for contact 150 as we drove home, we (G7AAV/P, G7AAU/P, 2E0YLO/P and 2E0DPI/P) managed 37 in the log, so with Jimmy’s tally the total number of contacts for Gun today must be well over 200. Possibly another record?

Steve GW7AAV

and Tom is still calling ;0)

Hi Steve,

My Dad M1EYP made exactly 150 contacts on his 1000th activation, I made 29 contacts today on this activation myself.

Jimmy M3EYP

Dear Tom

Congratulations on your 1000. activation and for your personal QSO record.

Vlado, Z35M

Thank you Vlado.

My next activation, number 1001, took place on Tuesday 7th September 2010 on The Cloud G/SP-015. This time it was an evening operation in the RSGB 2m UK Activity Contest and Club Championship. It just goes to show you how much some of this stuff gets under your skin, when such an event was consciously preferred to live coverage of an England Euro 2012 football qualifier!

While setting up on summit, a passing runner asked me some questions that were markedly more informed than the usual fayre. “Are you licensed yourself then?” I enquired. He told me his M3 callsign, and mentioned he was the son of Chris G8APB, a leading VHF contester just down the ridge on Biddulph Moor. I told him I would no doubt be working his father later in the evening.

The contest was very lively with 67 QSOs (64 on 2m SSB, 3 on 2m FM, one SSB contact completed only by sending the report in CW) made in the 2.5 hour window, but there were very many more stations than that on the band. There was some DX about as well, but I didn’t make contact with PA, ON, DL or GU. As usual, it was G, GW, GI, GD and GM for me, and a rather disappointing 12 multiplier squares, with even IO70, IO75, IO80, IO90, JO00 and JO02 notably absent from my log.

I dropped into the Harrington Arms for a pint on the way home, but found the place to be uncharacteristically unfriendly. But I will assume that was a most unusual one-off for the time being!

73, Tom M1EYP